Shanghai is a city of extremes. The pace of life here moves so fast that anything standing today may be relocated, torn down or renovated tomorrow. Rows of old houses stand side by side with comfortable apartment blocks, simple wooden huts sit next to modern skyscrapers, and multilevel highways soar above narrow alleys. An important seaport, Shanghai began to attract British traders, shrewd opium gangsters, Catholic missionaries and Jewish refugees early on. The elaborate architecture still reflects the residents’ colorful past. High-rise buildings of the future reach for the sky on land that was rural and flat 20 years ago. People sit bumper to bumper in dense traffic or dance on a nearby street corner. One resident run errands in pajamas, while another strolls along in haute couture from Louis Vuitton’s new “Maison.” The delightful perfume of osmanthus blossoms may scent the air in some alleys, while others reek with the unaccustomed odor of stinky (fermented) tofu. With opportunities to sample regional foods from all over China, no one should miss their Kaiserschmarrn, pizza, pasta or croissants. The percussion of jackhammers coexists with the chirping of crickets: Shanghai’s extremes permeate the senses.